According to the findings of the recent publication by Hamburg-based E-Commerce & Online Payments market intelligence provider, yStats.com, online retail sales are growing rapidly across the African continent. The report, “Africa B2C E-Commerce Market 2019” identifies the main drivers behind this growth trend.
Online retail sales growth in Africa is accelerating
B2C E-Commerce market in Africa is still in early stages of development, but is showing signs of a high growth potential. As of last year, only a small single-digit percentage share of overall retail sales in Africa were online. According to projections cited in the yStats.com report, online retail sales on this continent could reach a double-digit figure in billion U.S. dollars as early as next year, with annual growth rates remaining above 10%.
Top 3 B2C E-Commerce markets in Africa
The three largest online retail markets in Africa in 2019 are South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt. In South Africa, almost one in two Internet users make purchases online, with the top product categories including books, tickets and fashion. Nigeria enjoys a similar online shopper penetration rate, but significantly lower levels of Internet access among the country’s growing population, which, however, is projected to improve over the next several years, according to the findings cited in the yStats.com report. Furthermore, Egypt has one of the fastest growing E-Commerce markets in the region, with online retail sales projected to increase by around one-third in 2019.
Mobile technology helps drive Africa’s online shopping boom
The top driver of online retail development in Africa is the growing use of mobile technologies for accessing the Internet and making payments. Kenya is one of the regional leaders on both accounts. More than three-quarters of Internet traffic in this country stems from mobile devices, while the popularity of mobile money services reached a new peak as more than 10 million new accounts were registered last year alone.
B2C E-Commerce competition in Africa features local and international players
With the E-Commerce market in Africa remaining on the growth path, a number of local competitors emerged to serve the online consumers’ growing demand. Among them, Nigeria-based Jumia launched a landmark IPO on New York Stock Exchange in early 2019. Other prominent local E-Commerce players include Takealot in South Africa and Konga in Nigeria. Furthermore, global online shopping platforms such as Amazon and AliExpress also enjoy high levels of popularity among Africa’s digital buyers.